I find this article to be the most refreshing one that I have read in awhile. I feel that those that have commented in a judgmental fashion need to humble themselves. Granted, we may all be coming for "wellness" but the human experience creates different levels of need at the meridian if the heart chakra. Perhaps it may only be on a soft tissue level that you may need to bare your heart so that your connective tissue in the front of your body doesn't collapse your spine and posture which every single one of us living in a human body needs. So nostradamus how well you may feel in the wellness of your life, perhaps it is time to humble uour heart or "bare your heart" for the Scripture says, "Judge not that ye be judged." This is the first step towards spiritual security. So bare your heart in wellness and humble thy unwounded heart to work on a more profound spiritual existence. There is always a benefit for all if we are able to look deeper within even if at first it may seem that we do not need it. There is always a deeper layer to bare. Namaste.
The focus on 'heart opening' has certainly been a nice shift from the older, harder emphasis on doing everything 'right' according to the minutiae of alignment instructions.
But it's led to a paradoxically mixed message that bugs more than a few people: many students (and teachers) wonder aloud, 'Who says my heart ISN'T open? Why do you keep telling me to 'Open my heart' when it already is?'
We've all experienced grief, but that doesn't necessarily mean we've built up armor against it in the way that is so often described. It's more than a little presumptuous, and even borderline offensive when a teacher presumes to 'fix' your heart problem by inspiring you to 'open' it.
A lot of people do yoga because they are actually just fine -- great, really. This isn't just an 'Anusara' language issue; a lot of styles and schools of yoga make quite a few assumptions about what is 'wrong' with us, from our attitude to our very breathing (there's a lot of emphasis on 'fear' among many teachers) even when they try to emphasize the positive. In teaching the 'positive,' they're actually projecting the negative -- that's the paradox.
It's nice to have the 'heart' as a central theme in yoga classes and workshops; it's less nice when it begins with the subtle assumption that there's something wrong with your heart. (Have we just shifted to obsessive 'alignment instructions' for the 'heart' instead of obsessive 'alignment instructions' for the pose?)
It would be refreshing to start a class with, 'Thank you for coming with such open hearts! Let's enjoy doing yoga together!' And go from there, without labels, assumptions or subtle arm-twisting to conform to preconceptions. One can still speak beautifully about forgiveness and other issues from one's own experience, and it will be quite appreciated.
Please don't tell me that I don't 'understand' the message of 'opening the heart:' I do. I'm just pointing out the (largely unintended) implications for the listener, which are worth thinking about.
The link to Desiree's website is not working
Yes please fix the image links
Please fix the broken imgs! these articles are great but the pictures will clear up a lot of confusions! Thx!
Some really lovely descriptions. I would love to hear more about getting OUT of Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana. I often hear my teachers saying come out of the pose the same way you went in, but i find that after holding this particular pose my arms don't have as much strength as I need, and I therefore end up placing too much weight on the top of my head.... can you help me?
What beautiful writing about forgiveness.
I will share it with my students & also the standing poses. The inverted staff will be unapproachable for them, & me - not enough upper body strength (even after 37 years of yoga in my case.)
I also couldn't download the pictures.
This article is wonderful ..
However - HELP - the pictures will not open ... visuals greatly help me as I practice the poses described.